Change Comes To Watertown City Hall

Change Comes To Watertown City Hall

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Come January, there will be two new faces on Watertown City Council.

Challengers Lisa Ruggiero and Ryan Henry-Wilkinson were elected to city council. Current council members agree the new faces will shake things up.

"This is the beginning of a lot of changes to come," said Cody Horbacz, city council member.

Henry-Wilkinson ran his campaign on the idea of a strong mayor form of government. He plans to pursue a charter commission right away and he has the support of Horbacz.

"I've been a long-time proponent of a strong mayor form of government. It's a form of government that brings the government closer to the people that it represents," said Horbacz.

Ruggiero says the number one thing on her agenda is to settle the fire dispute. Council Member Mark Walczyk thinks with the changes to council, that will happen.

"Both the council members-elect were endorsed by the firefighters union so I think that in and of itself sends a message that there's an olive branch there and I would love to see these negotiations settled quickly," said Walczyk.

And while Mayor Joe Butler doesn't agree with the newcomers on the fire department and a few of the other issues...

"I certainly respect both of them and we'll be able to work together, no question about it," said Butler.

Walczyk and Horbacz have pushed to fix the pool in Thompson Park.

They believe they have the support of the council-elects and this is the time to get it done.

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